Over the past year in the test kitchen, we've noticed our grocery bills creeping higher and higher. Have you noticed the same thing at home? We dug around and found out which ingredients have been adding up:
1. Nuts: We noticed a price hike for pecans, and it turns out other nut prices jumped too. According to Market Analysts Mintec, the average wholesale cost of nuts, including almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, brazil nuts, pistachios, peanuts, and macadamias, increased 36% from April 2010 to April 2011.
2. Eggs: The inventory of hens that lay the eggs we eat decreased in 2011, bringing egg prices up 22.8%. The good news is that eggs have always been budget-friendly and still are easy on the wallet.
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3. Apples: A host of reasons account for the 12.3% price increase and one of them is us, the consumers! We're buyin' up the delicious-and more expensive-varieties like Honeycrisp and SweeTango. That larger percentage of market sales contributes to the higher average price of all apples.
4. Potatoes: According to the Consumer Price Index, potato prices were up 11.9%. With twice the average rainfall in the east and cold spring weather across North America, crop losses and delays were significant. That, along with seed shortages, meant there were no bumper crops to drive down prices this past year.
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5. Fats & Oils: We don't tend to think about soybeans when greasing our skillets, but they're the reason our cooking oils cost more. Surging soybean prices in 2011 made the commodity prices of fats and oils go up 11.1%. Maybe that's a good thing as we start our New Year dieting...
-By Genevieve Ko
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